Jan 13, 2017

A Little Southeast Asian Flair - Seared Chicken with Laotian Spicy Sauce

Reading food related articles daily comes with one major benefit - it broadens my cooking options. All these wonderful dishes and even recipes from the readings always intrigue me. When curiosity takes over, or more so when these words and pictures put me into a very hungry mood, that's when these knowledge turn into real food, in my own kitchen.

Tasting Table published an article back in early 2016 talking about bang bang sauce - chef Phet Schwader's version of a tradition Laotian sauce called jeow som. I can almost taste its flavors through my imagination, a sauce consists of ginger, sugar, chilies, and cilantro. I must try it myself. So a little research and a little improvisation, here is my take on Laotian spicy sauce.

Seared chicken with Laotian spicy sauce -


  • 1 large or 2 medium chicken breast
  • Some olive oil


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies (Thai chilies preferable)
  • Small bundle cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Cut several gashes on the chicken breast and make sure not to cut all the way down. Drizzle just enough olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium high heat. Once the pan gets hot, add in the chicken and sear both sides till slightly browned and almost fully cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a serving plate. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken, and the texture should be perfect when it's ready to serve.

Peel and give the garlic cloves a few chops. Trim off the chili stems and roughly chop the remaining. Finely chop the cilantro, this recipe needs about 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. 

Add garlic, chilies, and sugar to a grinding tool or use mortar and pestle. 

Crush and grind these ingredients till it turns into paste. It doesn't need to be smooth, just make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the lime juice and fish sauce. Mix till combined. 

Lastly, mix in chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust with lime juice and fish sauce if needed.

Pour this pungent sauce all over seared chicken right before serving. The sauce tastes so good that I even pour it on steamed rice. 

My Laotian sauce recipe yields a more toned down version in regards to spiciness. You know, these tiny red chilies can be very fiery at times.

Other Asian style chicken recipes: 

Jan 7, 2017

Red Miso Ground Beef Rice Bowl (月見味噌牛肉丼)

Red miso is the key savory component for this rice bowl recipe. The red miso not only boosts up the saltiness and also creates a umami punch. However, this fermented ingredient can be too powerful at times, and that's when the egg yolks come into the picture, providing a smooth touch and degrees of comfort. 

Red miso ground beef rice bowl/donburi -

Ingredients (for 3 to 4 portions)?

  • 3 to 4 portions steamed white rice
  • 1.2 lb ground beef
  • 8 to 10 okra
  • 3 to 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup peeled and chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red miso
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Peel and finely chop the shallots. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Trim off scallion stem and chop the remaining. Trim off the okra stems and slice the remaining. If not using Sriracha sauce, chop up two fresh chilies instead.

Drizzle some olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium high heat. Add in shallots, salt, and pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook till the shallots turn translucent.

Add in garlic and most of the chopped scallion, save some for garnish later on. Add in the chilies if needed. Cook till garlicky aroma comes out but not burnt.

Add the ground beef and stir-fry till all the pieces are separated, meaning no lumps or big chunks present.

Add red miso, soy sauce, mirin, and Sriracha. Stir occasionally and cook till the juice has been reduced and almost completely dried.

Mix in okra and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Scoop some rice to a bowl and top with the red miso ground beef. Make a shallow hole in the middle to better nesting the egg yolk. Carefully add the yolk to the center then garnish with reserved scallion. Serve immediately.

If you can't find red miso, regular white miso works too just the flavor won't be as expansive. Also use more white miso for this recipe, since it's not as salty as its red counterpart. 

Other rice bowl recipes: